In May, we welcomed Sam Magee to the Lean Tech family for the summer. Sam has been key in helping us complete and deliver custom projects for customers. We asked Sam to answer a few questions so that Thrive users could know a little more about him and his contributions to the platform this summer.
1. Tell us about yourself, where are you from/what are you studying?
My name is Sam Magee, and I am from Cedar Falls, IA. I am currently a junior at Central College in Pella, majoring in Computer Science. I started my internship with Lean Tech over the summer following my sophomore year in 2018. Web development and design have been of great interest to me ever since my family got our first computer at home. Something about websites and how they work intrigued me, so once I started, I just had to keep going!
2. Tell us what you do as a Software Developer at Lean Tech.
As I said, websites/web apps have always been my forte, so when I learned that there was a job like this in Pella, I knew I had to apply! I was looking to improve my skills in writing code and that is exactly what I have done as a Software Developer at Lean Tech. At first, I was a little nervous about learning a completely new codebase, totally different from anything I had ever worked with beforehand. However—the initial training, along with continued help from the team, allowed me to quickly get used to Thrive and its inner-workings. My knowledge from other personal projects I have worked on gave me insights that let me solve complex challenges—something I very much enjoy to do.
Most working days are spent fully immersed in the code. Everyone is given their space and the time to focus on their projects. This allows us all to work efficiently with each other and on our own. Before having joined the team, I had grown used to working on my own, and I was somewhat skeptical about what it would be like to join a team (but also very excited). I was very impressed to see how well the team motivated me to work harder, and how it made me more efficient overall.
3. What did you like about a project you worked on? What did you learn?
I was given the opportunity to build out a large part of a new module, “Customers.” Starting with an estimating tool, I was able to communicate directly with the customer and get feedback, which guided me in adding all of the features involved, including a drawing tool that connects to the estimates. This specific tool, along with a new “Customer Activity” section, was built in a different way than most other pages in Thrive. This meant that I was challenged to think outside the box. Because these made me think a lot harder than I may have while working on pre-existing pages, I think it made me a better developer overall.
4. What are some of your greatest joys at work?
My favorite times at work are when I finally solve an issue that I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about and working on. The rush I get from completing a project or fixing a bug is incredibly motivating, pushes me to do more, and oftentimes allows me to reflect my solution to other areas I work on.
5. How have you enjoyed working in a small town, on a small team?
Working in a small town, on a small team has been great for me. Having lived in Pella for the better part of two years during my time at Central, I have learned a lot about the town, but working at Lean Tech, I have learned much more about the area and the community inside it.
Being part of a smaller team has made me feel like I have a bigger part in the company. I always felt safe about sharing my opinion in team conversations, knowing that it would be considered and respected by everyone involved.
6. What are your goals for the next years?
Throughout the next few years, I hope to finish up my education at Central. My main goal, however, is to continue to learn as much as possible about the industry. My experience at Lean Tech has confirmed to me that I want to remain in the web development field, as I very much enjoyed my time as an intern. In the future, I anticipate that I will continue in the industry, and I hope that my work will be put to good use in any future projects I am involved in!